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Queens and Kings, celebrity on the Red Carpet, fashion designer, secretaries and young professionals wore pearls. Thus, many women in midlife avoid to wear their gems from the sea. They fear to look old-fashioned. This post encourages women of any age to wear their pearls in a modern way. To get it right, the old fashioned way is illustrated by examples from own experience.

  1. Pearls in the 20th Century
  2. Family Heirlooms- the Old Fashioned Way
  3. My First Pearl Necklace – the 1980s and 1990s Way
  4. How to Wear Pearls the Modern Way


Disclosure: This post has affiliate links.


Pearls in the 20th Century

There is this famous quote

Pearls are always appropriate. - Jackie Kennedy #fashionquote Click To Tweet

Freshwater pearls were one of the popular gemstones for engagement rings in the last century. Coco Chanel introduced wearing several necklaces of these beads at a time.  Thus, it is no wonder that many women have the one or other woman owns a family heirloom of this kind.

Sure there are memories attached to them (see mine in the next paragraph). Neverthless, you should wear them, but not in the old-fashioned way. Read on …


Family Heirlooms – the Old Fashioned Way

Saltwater-pearls remind me of my Granny’s engagement ring. It features a small pearl in the center and two small diamonds on each side in a white gold setting, while the ring itself is rose gold. After the Great War, rose gold was in fashion as creation of yellow gold required material that was pretty expensive. Her engagement ring was made by her brother-in-law, i.e. my grandpa’s brother. He was a gold smith.

One day in the 1970s, my grandparents were visiting us. My granny thought she had lost the ring on the lawn. I spent the entire afternoon on the lawn searching for her ring. I even kept looking after they had left. My mom called me to come to the phone. My granny was on the phone. She was super-excited that she found the ring at home. Obviously, granny had forgotten to put it on. Being thankful she said that I would get the ring when she dies because I spent all the time search the ring for her.

Pearls also remind me of my Mom’s Sunday’s Best or Going Out looks. As it was modern in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, she would wear her pearl necklace with matching pearl studs. In the 1950s, pearls were part of her office look. My Dad gave my Mom a longer pearl necklace with larger pearls than the one she had worn during her work as an executive officer, in the 1980s. At that time, it wasn’t in fashion to wear multiple pearl strings à la Coco Chanel. More on the life of Coco Chanel at the link.

Therefore, my Mom gave her old pearls to my sister for her graduation in chemical engineering. In the 1990s, my sister wondered why these cultured pearls lost their luster. When you are interested in the answer to this question, check this post on all you need to know about pearls.

Did you know that you shouldn't put your pearls in your jewelry box with other jewelry? #pearls #highlatitudestyle Click To Tweet


My First Pearl Necklace – the 1980s and 1990s Way

In my twenties, I bought myself a silver-gray pearl necklace. While in my twenties, they accessorized my pink skirt suit or black and white pants suit. In my thirties, they dressed up my business casual style look of jeans, a button-down shirt and blazer.

Both outfit variations were the typical 1980s and 1990s uniforms, respectively. I wore the string of baroque silver-gray pearls with silver earrings with these outfits, when I went to science conferences. Learn what to wear at a science conference today in the post at the link.


fashion blogger in work outfit with twinset and pearls
Front view of OOD described below


over 50 years old fashion blogger in floral skirt black top accessorized with multiple pearl necklaces and a pearl hair pin
Outfit details: GNW twinset, Talbot silk pleated floral skirt, Calvin Klein nude pumps, Esprit bag, Ray Ban Jackie O. sunglasses, various strings of pearls, and Akoya pearls c/o The Pearl Source Inc.




How to Wear Pearls the Modern Way

Pearls are a big trend at the moment. I style my pearls with studs or very casual in a contemporary way to avoid looking Old Lady. Meanwhile I bought a triple pearl necklace and an opera length pearl necklace. These finds were great scores on eBay.

The following outfit ideas with pearls are examples of how to wear pearls in a modern way.


statement belt with pearls
Details of belt with pearls


influencer in casual look with sweater, denim skirt , pearl statement belt
Oliveo denim skirt, Manolo Blahnik booties, pantyhose, Anne Klein turtleneck sweater and pearl statement belt


style book author in posh casual outfit with gems of the sea
Graham and Spencer leather motorcycle jacket and London Jean boyfriend jeans with Akoya pearl necklace c/o The Pearl Source


stylist in leo pumps, black blazer, tan skirt, black tights, denim shirt
Vittari blazer, Halogen leather skirt, Great Northwest denim shirt, GNW tights, Festina watch, Aldo leopard print pumps, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, Akoya pearls c/o The Pearl Source



Stylist tip: When you are in the market for these gems of the sea, you can find reviews of different products right here on the blog.



Note the above order is random. It does not indicate any ranking or comparison.

Let your best female friends know I just found a great post on how to style pearls in a modern way over 40. #accessoires #pearls Click To Tweet


When you like the blog, you may also want to get my book “How to Dress for Success in Midlife.” Buy your copy now.


You may also like to read about which earrings are best for your look.


Photos: G. Kramm

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